LNAK10100U Thematic Course II: Rural Landscape – Management and Planning

Volume 2019/2020

MSc Programme in Nature Management
MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture


The course embraces rural landscape management with emphasis on ends, means, and solutions in management and planning projects. The introductory part of the course includes lectures, exercises and seminars on landscape processes and functions. A particular focus will be on European Union policies and their specific impacts on rural landscapes. Issues dealt with in the lectures and seminars include:

  • Landscape policy and planning

  • Policy analysis

  • Spatial and historical approaches to nature conservation

  • Ecosystem services and landscape values

  • Drivers, actors, patterns, and outcomes of landscape change

  • Social-ecological resilience

  • Landscape-based approaches to nature conservation

  • Analysing environmental change in cultural landscapes

  • Rural landscapes and EU policies (Common Agricultural Policy, incl. rural development policies, nature and biodiversity policies)

  • Case study approach and policy analysis

  • Social-ecological methods for assessing rural landscape management and planning


The second course week includes a one-day fieldtrip to a rural landscape in Zealand and one or two days of visits to national and international agencies and organisations working on European policies regarding landscapes. Past visits included the European Environment Agency, the Nature Agency, the AgriFish Agency, Danish Society for Nature Conservation (DN). Possibly, guest speakers with expertise in landscape policy and management (e.g. from the European Landowners’ Organisation or from EcoAgriculture Partners) will be invited. The aim of these dialogues is to get insights to current European and international policies and their relevance for rural landscapes. They will also facilitate ideas for potential case study projects.


On the basis of the introductory discussions (which take place full-day in the first two course weeks), the students form project groups and propose a project problem to be approved. The project work is usually carried out in groups of 3-5 students with different disciplinary backgrounds.

Examples of past case study topics are:

  • Landscape Management of the Beaver (Castorfiber): A case study of beaver management in Klosterheden and Arresø in Denmark

  • Agroforestry implementation prospects in Denmark – Analysis of farmers perspectives

  • Developing Green Infrastructure in Haslev, Denmark

  • Ecosystem-based climate change adaptation strategy for Lille Vejle stream catchment area

  • Exploring Rewilding: A case study from Eastern Carpathians, Poland

  • Tradition and culture. Increasing socio-ecological resilience in the Doñana region (Spain) through cultural attachment


Learning Outcome


The overall aim is to gain hands-on experience with problem-based analysis, management and planning of rural landscapes. During the course students will be trained in problem-based landscape analysis, policy analysis, and implementation of rural policies and plans.


After completing this course the student will be able to:



  • Understand the basic natural processes and social functions maintaining and changing rural landscapes with a focus on North European Landscapes
  • Understand current landscape change patterns, their underlying driving forces, the associated management problems, available instruments, and operational solutions
  • Demonstrate insights into the relationships between the primary agents (farmers, forest owners, public owners, foundations etc.), the landscape system (functions, patterns, character), and public policy interventions



  • Communicate landscape problems in participatory processes with owners and other stakeholders
  • Identify and analyse intervention objectives, alternative regulation instruments, and policy implementation strategies
  • Diagnose natural and cultural conditions of the landscape, including characterisations of nature, biodiversity, ecosystem services, heritage values, and overall landscape character
  • Asses the overall impacts of specific policy interventions and propose ex-post evaluations



  • Perform multi-disciplinary cooperation in problem-based landscape management processes
  • Synthesize multilayer types of (imperfect) information into operational solutions for landscape management projects

Please see Absalon.


Thematic course: Ecology and Management of Nature and Semi-Nature Areas or aequivalent course(s)

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
The introductory part of the course consists mainly of lectures, seminars and structured assignments (exercises). In the main part of the course the principal learning method is project work based on concrete management and planning problems in interdisciplinary groups. The project work is based on combinations of field work, readings, analytical and synthesizing work, all adapted to the problem in question. The project work is followed and supported by an appointed advisor.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 30
  • Excursions
  • 20
  • Guidance
  • 20
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Preparation
  • 30
  • Project work
  • 282
  • Total
  • 412
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15 min
Written assignment, during course
A project report is produced and handed in prior to the exam week. The project report is, during the oral examination, presented by all project participants. Hereafter, each project participant is asked individual questions in relation to the report. A combined grade is given after the oral exam, where the report accounts for 75 % and the oral examination for 25 %
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

The written report is resubmitted, 15 min. oral examination, individually. One combined grade is given, where the report accounts for 75 % and the oral examination for 25 %.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome.